Samsung Electronics America has announced a partnership with a national campaign to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke by demonstrating the role of ultrasound technology in disease prevention. The cross-country bicycle tour, Heart Across America, took off March 22 in Palo Alto, Calif, and will include stops in 14 cities and more than 5,000 miles of cycling over an 86-day period. The event will also raise funds for the American Heart Association.

In each city, the company will use the Samsung HM70A portable ultrasound system to illustrate imaging’s use in detecting stroke. The high-end system offers several advanced imaging technologies in a compact laptop format. Weighing approximately 13.5 pounds, the portable unit comes with front and rear handles for easy maneuvering. Optional features include gas lift, on-cart power outlets, printer storage space, and extended probe ports.

The American Heart Association estimates that cardiovascular disease and stroke cause nearly 800,000 deaths in the United States each year, of which nearly 80% are preventable. Direct and indirect costs from the diseases total more than $320 billion each year.

The campaign was inspired by Sean Maloney, a former Intel executive who suffered a debilitating stroke in 2010 which temporarily deprived him of the ability to speak and write and paralyzed the right side of his body. After recovering, he started Heart Across America to educate others about avoiding stroke.

“Too many people needlessly lose their lives to heart attacks and strokes that could have been prevented,” Maloney said. “We are grateful to have Samsung and their ultrasound systems on board the Heart Across America tour to increase awareness for the capabilities of ultrasound technology in detecting stroke.”